Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nursing Update: hitting my stride

It was recently brought to our attention that everyone gets to hear all about my nursing, but Lyn is a nursing parent, too, and some of you might want to know what is going on with her. She promises a thoughtful post soon, but until then, I'll just give you a few more gory details about re-lactating (see here or here for some back story).

About a week ago I got so frustrated on a day home using the supplemental nurser that I was just ready to give the whole thing up. So, I'm not using the supplemental nurser any more, and without that frustration, nursing has settled into more of a rhythm.

Every other night, I am on Ira duty. I don't do any pumping or nursing after 3pm so that I'll have enough milk for the night. After Lyn does a dream-feed at around 10pm, I do the rest of the night. Ira is usually getting up at around midnight or 1am, then again around 3 or 4, and then at around 5-6am, after which we are both laying around in some kind of groggy state slipping in and out of sleep for an hour or two. That's actually one of the nicest parts of the day. I have enough milk for him that I don't have to break out a bottle, although I know he gets less milk during a night with me than he does on a night with Lyn. He seems to adjust fine.

In the morning, sometimes Lyn will feed him and sometimes he's not interested in more food before his nap. If it's a day that I'm home alone with him (like today), I'll then give him his next two feedings out of a bottle. Today I nursed him for the third feeding and then topped him off just a little with a bottle. The supplemental nurser was just creating too much frustration for me to handle, and this new system is working out fine.

On nights like tonight that Lyn is going to be nursing him, I'll do the dream feed at around 10pm. I haven't nursed him since maybe 2pm, so I should have enough milk.

On days that I'm not alone with him, we try to work in one or two feedings for me and I might pump 1-2 times. I've gotten really tired of pumping, so I'm very lazy about it these days. I still take domperidone and fenugreek four times a day but I've cut out other herbs.

My supply probably supports about three real feedings a day and I am lucky to be able to do many of those feedings with an actual baby versus putting milk in bottles. As I write this, I haven't pumped in about 36 hours. I will pump several times tomorrow since it is a work day for me. I worry that my supply is going down right now, but so far I can still do those night feedings and that's worth it. I also have been enjoying giving Ira bottles. That wasn't an experience I got to have with Leigh, and it is very nice, in a different way from nursing. Oddly enough, I think I pay a little closer attention to him when I'm giving him a bottle. He seems to prefer to be held a little ways out from my body when taking the bottle, and that gives me a chance to look at his face while he eats and catch some sweet milky smiles. I had to stop looking at him earlier today, in fact, because I was distracting him from the feeding!

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